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Assam NRC: Rights body says over one lakh tribals excluded, The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
02 September 2019

Human rights body ‘Rights and Risks Analysis Group’ said about 25 per cent of about 36,000 Reangs in Hailakandi district were excluded from the NRC.

GUWAHATI: Amidst the assertions by political parties and organisations that the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the final list of which was published on Saturday, was not error-free, human rights body “Rights and Risks Analysis Group” said over one lakh tribals, who are original inhabitants of Assam, have been excluded from the list.

“A preliminary survey states that about 25,000 Bodos, 12,000 Reangs, 8,000 Hajongs and thousands of persons belonging to other tribes have been excluded from the NRC,” the rights body said.

Its director Suhas Chakma said about 25 per cent of about 36,000 Reangs in Hailakandi district were excluded from the NRC. He said an overwhelming majority of the Reang women had been excluded as they were not able to prove legacy from 1971. 

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“The Reangs are shifting cultivators and have extremely low literacy rate and are identified as one of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups. With the exception of educational degrees and land documents, women do not have independent identity documents and always identified as daughter or wife of the male member.” 

Once they are married, the legacy is lost as they are deleted from the family ration cards and for this reason alone, an overwhelming majority of the Reang women have been excluded,” Chakma said.

He said it was a travesty that none of the Scheduled Tribes of Assam had been listed as original inhabitants of the state but the Supreme Court, vide its order dated 21 July 2016, clarified that the expression “original inhabitants of the state of Assam” would include the Tea Tribes.

The human rights body urged the Assam government and the Centre to issue a notification to include all Scheduled Tribes in the NRC as the original inhabitants of Assam.

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